Perhaps it is all my own fault. After all, last week I did find myself somewhat boastfully recounting friends and family with tales of temperatures cooling, of balmy evenings spent sitting out on terraces, and of trips to the beach at the weekend. After the furnace that was the summer, I felt it was high time that the weather in the UAE be lavished with praise, and praise it I did.
Well, Thompson need look no further than me, should they want to sell a package holiday or two (or three, or four).
It seems that a flurry of flights have been booked, and I'm now expecting a different set of guests every weekend for the next month and a half.
Which is lovely, of course. It's nice to be able to offer a reprieve from early winter back in the UK; all that doom and gloom, grey skies and drizzle. Although I'm extremely excited about seeing all those familiar faces, I think that with entertaining comes a certain amount of pressure: to do as much as possible, yet still keep things relaxing, to hit the right mix of the culture, and fun.
Yes, sightseeing will have to planned with military precision. I do wonder if I'll have to venture up the Burj Khalifa with each individual visitor though.
After the first few, I think I'll resort to just dropping people off at the ticket booth, and instructing them to give me a wave from the top.
Having house guests for the first time throws up a whole host of new issues to consider. The spare room is certainly not so spare at this present moment in time. In fact, it is crammed full of what can only be described as stuff - storage boxes, questionable clothes, a dodgy lava lamp. Any pictures that I don't particularly like have been relegated there, rather than being hung on the wall in the living room (sneaky, I know). It has been doubling handily as a walk-in wardrobe for the past few months, so that, too, will have to be addressed.
I also suspect that people might find it rather strange that there is no toaster, and that cutlery and plates are in rather short supply).
Similarly, I've become used to the fact that the resounding ping of the lift next door can be heard at various intervals throughout the night, but I doubt my light-sleeping mother will be quite so accommodating.
Still, they're coming to see me, not inspect the flat. That's what I'll keep telling myself, at least.